Visit Petra the Jewel of Jordan

the monastery at Petra

Petra went onto my bucket list when I saw pictures of the amazing facade of the Treasury cut into the rock face.  My parents had visited some years ago and said it was a place I had to visit. The site is one of the seven modern wonders of the world. It is also recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO. When the time was right I started planning my visit to Jordan.

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The north of Jordan

hadrians triumphal arch

From Amman the whole of the north of Jordan can be reached within a few hours drive.  Ruined Roman towns, castles and important Christian sites are just a short distance away. I will tell you about the places I visited  so you can see if they interest you. If you don’t have much time you could visit all these places within a day.  But if you have time you might prefer to take two or three days and spend an afternoon at the Dead Sea too. Continue reading “The north of Jordan”

Amman to Petra

Amman to Petra - the Wadi al Mujib valley.

I had wanted to visit Petra ever since my parents returned from a visit and said what an incredible place it was. On my journey I discovered that Jordan has more to offer than a visit to Petra. When I travelled I stopped at the most interesting sites along the way. If you arrive at the airport in Amman you will need to travel south to Wadi Musa the closest town to Petra. On the journey you can visit the remains of a Roman town, see early Christian churches and mosaics, visit a crusader castle and see scenery to match the Grand Canyon. Continue reading “Amman to Petra”

Things to do in Lima

Skyscapers in Miraflores Lima with title

The international airport in Lima was the starting point of my journey on to Machu Picchu. Many travelers do not stop in Lima but I was keen to see what the city had to offer.

The central area of Miraflores is typical of any modern city with high rise modern buildings. This area is right next to the Pacific Ocean. There is a pleasant walk along the cliffs to the trendy area with many artsy shops and cafes called Barranco. For those that can’t live without Starbucks you can find one here by the central square.

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Caral the Oldest City in the Americas

pyramids at coral with title for pin

It was almost by accident that I found myself in Caral. Certainly it was a lucky turn of events that resulted in my visit. My flight to Lima in Peru had reached the stage where you start searching for anything to relieve the tedium. I’m not a fan of in-flight magazines. I was so lucky to have looked at the magazine on this flight. There was an interesting article about a site called Caral, the oldest settlement in the Americas. The picture of the pyramids on the site fascinated me.

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Things to do in the Sacred Valley

Inca terraces with title

The Sacred Valley is the name given to the valley close to Cusco, which is cut by the Urubamba river. The route along the valley is important because it leads to Aquas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. This fertile valley was very important to the Inca to produce crops to feed the population in the capital of the Inca empire. It is still an important agricultural area today. The sacred valley is famous for the Inca ruins which are within the valley. The most important of these sites are found at Pisac and Ollyantaytambo.

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Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu

Machu Picchu with title.

I sat on the bus climbing out of Aguas Calientes and wondered what Machu Picchu would really be like. I tried not to get excited in case I was disappointed. I got off the bus and passed through the gates into the site. The view was breathtaking. Machu Picchu is the most photogenic site I have visited. I wanted to just stand and soak up the view so that I could take it away with me. I have seen many places, but I’ve not seen an ancient city to compare.

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The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Walking the lares trek with title

The Lares Trek is a route through the Andes which should not be overlooked when planning a visit to Machu Picchu. Although less famous than the classic Inca trail, it is an alternative which will appeal to many walkers. I’ve been tempted to visit Machu Picchu after seeing a documentary about the site some years ago. Like many other people I had heard of the Inca trail and thought it must be a great experience. In May 2016 British Airways resumed flying to the capital of Peru in Lima after a break of many years. They were offering half price flights and it seemed like a great opportunity to fly to Peru to visit Machu Picchu, so I booked a seat on the first flight.

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